London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Plumstead 1897

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health, 1897

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61. Cowhouses.—I inspected all the Cowhouses in company
with the Chief Sanitary Inspector. Compared with
previous years they shewed some slight improvement. I
observe however, with regret, that there is an increased tendency
to keep the cows in the sheds all the year, instead of
sending them out to grass as formerly.
There is no doubt that continual confinement conduces to
the spread of tubercle. As I remarked last year, we are, in
London, far behind many foreign towns in the conduct of
dairies and cowsheds.
It is common abroad to have the cows systematically inspected
by trained veterinary surgeons, for the detection of
tubercle and other infectious diseases.
Further, at many places, both abroad and in England,
measures are taken to detect and separate all cows suffering
from tubercle by means of the injection of Koch's tuberculine.
In this way cowsheds can be pronounced with certainty
free from the infection of tubercle, and milk from them can be
drunk with confidence.
The introduction of similar measures in London is one of our
most urgent needs, and would probably save the lives of
thousands of young children.
62. Slaughterhouses.—I also inspected the slaughterhouses.
With one or two exceptions their conditions was found satisfactory,
and the defective conditions observed have since been
63. Gipsy Tents and Vans.—As the number of gipsy tents
and vans in the parish has shewn a marked tendency to